Man left taxi driver with 'severe' brain injury in attack over cigarette

Mark Ward will likely require round the clock care for the rest of his life after he was attacked by Steven Greig.

Dundee man left taxi driver with ‘severe’ brain injury in attack over cigarette row STV News

A criminal who has convictions for 189 offences assaulted a man and left him with a severe brain injury because his victim didn’t give him a cigarette, a court heard. 

Steven Greig, 45, attacked taxi driver Mark Ward, 54, on Coupar Angus Road in the Lochee area of Dundee on April 6. 

The High Court in Edinburgh heard how eyewitnesses saw Greig hitting Mr Ward at the side of the road close to a roundabout at the city’s South Road. 

Grieg pushed Mr Ward onto the road and caused him to fall down a hill and hit his head off concrete. Greig then started kicking his victim on the head before leaving the scene. 

Onlookers rushed to help Mr Ward as he lay motionless on the ground. He was rushed to Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and medics rushed to save his life. 

Prosecutor Victoria Dow told judge Lady Haldane that medics succeeded in saving Mr Ward – but he needs round the clock care and will likely need long term support with all aspects of life in the future. 

Meanwhile, the court heard that Greig didn’t express remorse to police officers for what he did to Mr Ward when they arrested him for the assault.

The court heard he told them: “I’m on five bails. That’s me f****d all because he wouldn’t give me a fag.”

Greig, of Charleston Drive, Dundee, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Ward to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement, permanent impairment and to the danger of his life. 

Ms Dow told the court that Grieg has 94 previous convictions for 189 offences for matters including dishonesty, knife possession, drugs and road traffic offences. 

She told the court that Mr Ward was a family man who helped his 82-year-old mum and 89-year-old dad with shopping, travel and taking them to medical appointments. 

Speaking about the aftermath of the attack, Ms Dow said: “Several members of the public observed Steven Greig making off from the area whilst shouting back towards the locus. 

“They then found the complainer lying motionless in the middle of the road and offered medical assistance and the incident was reported to the emergency services.”

She said that an off-duty nurse called David Lomas was present at the scene as was Jennifer Rollo, an off-duty doctor.

Ms Dow said they both saw Mr Ward having “some form of seizure” and Ms Rollo helped him breathe as witnesses waited for paramedics to arrive. 

But she noticed that Mr Ward was bleeding heavily from his head. 

The court heard that Mr Ward was rushed to hospital and doctors assessed him as being critically ill. On April 7, surgeons performed an operation to relieve pressure on the right side of his brain. 

However, the court heard that Mr Ward still hasn’t recovered from his ordeal. 

Ms Dow said: “Mark Ward still continues to be an inpatient in the Neurological ward at Ninewells Hospital. He is dependent on 24hour nursing care. 

“He makes spontaneous sounds with occasional words however, there is no meaningful conversation. 

“There is some spontaneous movement of arms and legs but this is not directed or purposeful. 

“Mr Ward is PEG fed and it is likely that he will require long term care and assistance with all aspects of care and daily living.”

Meanwhile, the court heard of Greig’s behaviour following the assault. 

The court heard that he went to a woman called Tracey Mudie’s house and told her about what had happened. 

Ms Dow said: “He appeared to be angry. He was captured on Tracey Mudie’s Ring Doorbell CCTV camera. 

“In the footage, he is heard to say ‘I’ve just battered a taxi driver. I asked him for a smoke and he came at me with an attitude’.”

The court heard that despite his record, this was the first time that Grieg had appeared in the High Court. Lady Haldane said she wanted to obtain a report on his background before sentencing him. 

Defence solicitor advocate Jim Laverty agreed with Lady Haldane’s plan and reserved his mitigation. 

She told Greig, who observed proceedings via videolink from Perth Prison where he is currently on remand: “You are without doubt a prolific offender with a frankly disgraceful record of previous convictions. 

“I am going to adjourn sentence to obtain a criminal justice social work report in order to have all relevant facts before me before i proceed to sentencing. 

“You will be remanded in custody meantime.”

Greig will be sentenced on January, 9 2023. 

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